Viewing Visits From Mobile Devices In Google Analytics

Now that everyone and their mother seems to have a smart phone or other internet-capable mobile device, it has become more important than ever to keep tabs on mobile traffic to your website. Google Analytics offers a “Visits From iPhones” segment by default, but if you want to get data on all of your mobile traffic, you’re going to have to cook up a solution on your own. Fortunately, the build-your-own-segment functionality in Google Analtyics can help you do just that.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to track all of your mobile visits in Google Analytics!

On your Google Analytics dashboard page, look for the button at the top right labeled “Advanced Segments”:

Advanced segments button in Google Analytics

Advanced segments button in Google Analytics

Click on it to open up a menu box with your default segments, along with a few links. On the left side of this box, click on the link to “create a new advanced segment:”

Create a new advanced segment

Create a new advanced segment

On the next screen, open up the “Systems” option under the “Dimensions” menu. We’ll be adding a few “or” statements from this category. Let’s start with “Browser.”

Dimensions box in Google Analytics

Dimensions box in Google Analytics

Drag the “Browser” box over to the dotted box marked “Dimension or Metric:”

Dimension or metric

Dimension or metric

Now it’s time to add a value to this statement. You can leave the second field at “matches exactly” – the other options work better when we’re dealing with numerical factors. In the “Value” text box, you can either add in text of your own, or choose from the drop-down menu. Here, you can enter in several browsers that are mobile-only, like “Opera Mini” or “BlackBerry9530.” If you don’t see any mobile browsers in the drop-down, it means that you haven’t received any visits from users of these browsers yet. You’ll need to create a new “or” statement for every mobile browser you want to add. Just keep repeating the steps until you’re done.

Once you’re satisfied with your mobile browser selection, create another “or” statement and drag over the box marked “Operating System.” For this one, we’ll choose several operating systems of mobile devices: iPod, iPhone, Android, Danger Hiptop (powers the T-Mobile Sidekick and other devices), and any other mobile OS’s you might see in your drop-down selection. As with the browser selection, you’ll need to create a separate “or” statement for every OS you want to cover.

If you’re feeling particularly analytical, you can even add screen resolutions to the mix. Create another “or” statement and drag over the “Screen Resolution” box. Common mobile device screen resolutions include 320×396 and 320×480 (iPhones). Once you are finished creating “or” statements for all of your mobile conditions, you can test out your segment by clicking on the “Test Segment” button on the right side of the page.

Google Analytics does not support tracking visits from all mobile devices, but this segment should represent a good portion of your mobile visitors. Just activate this segment when reviewing your Google Analytics reports, and you can start figuring out what kind of behavior you’re seeing on your website from mobile visitors.

About Shawn Livengood

Shawn Livengood is a search engine marketing professional based in Austin, Texas. He has extensive experience managing pay-per-click ad campaigns for clients in various industries, from small home-based businesses to large international companies. You can connect with Shawn on Google+.
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